Repairs to the Coquihalla Highway connecting B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the Interior are expected to take months.
The provincial government confirmed the news Thursday, saying the stretch between Hope and Merritt contains five areas that have been hit hard by the rain, flooding and mudslides following the storm.
Initial damage assessments have been completed, Paula Cousins, regional executive director at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said at a media briefing. However, even temporary repairs are going to take months.
Sections of the Coquihalla Highway have been snapped in two and complete sections have been washed away.
The province has already begun sourcing temporary Bailey Bridges across North America.
However, plans for repairs will be very costly and work will be hampered by the winter months when the highway is covered in snow.
“Clearly there will be five job sites going,” Minister of Transporation Rob Fleming said Thursday.
“Is there a way we can move heavy equipment in via helicopter or overland some other way? But that will be the challenge. And again, in winter conditions. You all know what winter is like on the Coquihalla at the best of times and we’re going into the teeth of winter right now.”